New partnership to fight crime
A crime-fighting initiative known as Tshebedisano Support Network aims to live up to its slogan and become "the eyes and ears of the community".
The organisation's mission is to eradicate crime, including ATM bombings, cash-in-transit heists and robberies, among others.
It has a crime information call centre in Randburg, Johannesburg, used as a supporting structure to collect crime-related details. They also offer trauma counselling to police.
The organisation, which will partner with Sowetan on future projects, is determined to achieve its goals and have gone to the the extent of approaching liquor traders for assistance in combating crime.
Spokesman Simon Mabiletsa said: "These places are where crime incidents are planned. Our research has revealed that most criminal activities and accidents occur after people have been drinking.
"We are using these taverns to get to the bottom of crime."
He said the organisation had mobilised a number of shebeen and tavern owners.
"Owners call us and give us information about happenings in their places. We monitor and investigate the incidents and then act.
"Shutting down these shebeens and taverns will mean more unemployment. We will in turn have more people getting involved in crime," Mabiletsa said.
The organisation is mandated by the police and work closely with the intelligence unit. He said the organisation also wanted to rid the police of the humiliation they get when they carry out their duties.
"Police officers are not respected and we are going to change that. We also want to rid the SAPS of corrupt officials. We want to involve as many companies as possible. Companies that will supply food and beverages for officers at roadblocks.
"This will stop officers from asking for bribes so that they can buy cold drinks," he said.
The company has a call centre that works as an "advanced yellow pages".
They provide people with all the information they need, from where to buy a new fridge at the best price to getting gold fish for your wedding decoration.
"We provide everything as long as it is legal," said a call centre agent.
The call centre's number is 086-184-3393.